Clydesdale Bank has today (Tuesday) announced plans to close 28 branches - but have not yet confirmed which Scottish branches will be affected.
Stornoway has a Clydesdale Bank on South Beach Street but it is understood it is not on the list of branches earmarked for closure.
The bank say the programme to ‘replace, renew, relocate and reinvest’ across the retail branch network is a key step in their strategy to build a better bank for customers. It will include the development of six flagship branches, new and improved mobile and internet banking services, greater distribution through third parties and continued new product investment. The aim is to support evolving customer needs.
Over the next nine months, the Banks’ network of 320 branches will be reshaped as part of a £25 million branch investment programme. This is in addition to over £20 million investment in services for customers including the expansion of mobile banking, improvements to internet banking and text alerts.
They will also launch contactless payment technology for debit cards and mobile payments with the introduction of Paym which will enable payments to be sent and received using just a mobile number.
New and improved sites are currently being identified and secured, allowing four branches to move to better locations. A total of 28 unsustainable branches will close; the majority as a result of lease break review points. The associated £5 million savings will be fully reinvested in improving the remaining branch network.
The Banks’ flagship branch programme will also be expanded with the refurbished Glasgow Head Office and newly refurbished London Piccadilly flagship branches being joined by four new large flagship branches in Aberdeen (St Nicholas) and Sheffield (Fargate) and also as sites are secured in Edinburgh and Leeds. These will become the template for the development of future branches and for upgrading the existing branch network in the coming years.
The addition of new in-branch facilities, services, technology and improvements to staff training and capabilities will be made, initially in the relocated and new flagship branches. The enhancements will focus on reducing service times, providing new and better access to online and Direct banking in-store - freeing more staff to deal with customers’ more complex enquiries at first touch.
A key priority of the changes is to safeguard frontline banking roles. New roles are being created at the Banks’ busiest branches to improve service levels and also to staff the new flagship branches. It is anticipated that these roles will be filled by existing branch staff. Arrangements are also being put in place to support displaced branch managers. All employees affected by these changes will be fully supported.
For those customers who rely on traditional “counter” service, Clydesdale Bank says they have extended their relationship with the Post Office. This will mean that more customers will be able to access their bank account at Post Office counters across the whole of the UK. In addition, the Banks
estimate that no customer will need to travel more than 500 yards from the site of a closing branch to a Post Office in order to use the counter service.